The RISE Foundation, a nonprofit that empowers low-income workers to become self-sufficient through financial literacy programs, received more than $20,000 in a fundraising campaign initiated by Jay Healy, our founder and president.
On Giving Tuesday, held December 1, 2020, Healy committed to match donations to the RISE Foundation up to $10,000. The campaign started with a series of generous donations made by supporters of the RISE Foundation through a GoFundMe page and finished when a current member of the RISE board of directors made a $10,000 gift through the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.
"Memphis faced unprecedented challenges in 2020, and as a city that’s home to one of America's highest urban poverty rates, these issues were amplified over the last year," said Healy, former board chair of RISE and a longstanding supporter of the organization. "As many individuals struggle to pick up the pieces, the RISE Foundation's transformative work continues to touch lives and help get people on solid footing. I am moved by this board member's generous gift, and proud of the response to the Century Wealth campaign."
The RISE (Responsibility, Initiative, Solutions, Empowerment) Foundation was initiated in 1999 and helps low-income Memphians achieve financial self-sufficiency with pro-bono, personalized guidance. Savings building programs and financial literacy classes have aided in forming a collective $9 million in assets for families over the last 21 years. The organization’s work became especially vital in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, amid massive job losses and business closures.
The Greater Memphis Financial Empowerment Center, which RISE launched in partnership with the Shelby County Trustee, has conducted 1,500 financial counseling sessions and helped meet 554 personal finance goals since the start of the pandemic, reducing non-mortgage debt by more than $500,000 in total.
"The acts of kindness this past year have been nothing short of inspiring, and the most recent generous gifts from one of our board members and Jay Healy are no exception," said Shelia Terrell, president and chief executive officer of the RISE Foundation. "Our mission to empower vulnerable Memphians has found renewed urgency as a result of the pandemic. Gifts like these change lives, and RISE is forever grateful for the community's continued support."
About RISE Foundation
RISE Foundation was founded in 1999 as a joint effort of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, Memphis Housing Authority and United Way of the Mid-South to help break the cycle of poverty and its effects, including bankruptcy, foreclosure, unemployment and crime. RISE stands for Responsibility. Initiative. Solutions. Empowerment. It was initially designed to help Memphis public housing residents achieve financial self-sufficiency, thereby making the city a healthier place. Through community support, it has expanded over the years to serve a broader demographic. Learn more at risememphis.org.